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Notre Dame Football Recruiting

Coach | 2024 Notre Dame CB Target Jon Mitchell Lets Play Do His Talking

February 14, 2023
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Toby Bullock calls Jon Mitchell‍ “The Anti-DB.”

Not because the 2024 Florida cornerback can’t play the position – there’s no doubt he can – but because of the way he carries himself while being an elite-level DB.

“He's just down to earth,” says Bullock, head coach at Mandarin High School in Jacksonville. “He's not a real flamboyant player. He's very, very quiet. He talks when he has to, but he's not going to be a chatter box. DBs and wide receivers generally are very loud, very flamboyant. He is not that way.”

That’s especially rare for a defensive back prospect with Mitchell’s recruiting profile. The 6-foot-1, 175-pounder’s offer sheet includes schools like Notre Dame, Auburn, Alabama, Florida State, Miami, Michigan, Penn State and USC among many others.

Mitchell comes from an athletic family, which keeps him grounded.

His mother was a Division-I track athlete and he has two older brothers currently playing college football at Mississippi State and FIU and another who recently wrapped up his playing career at Harvard.

“He's seen it, he's grown up around it,” Bullock said. “When you have people to help guide you, it helps with maturity and things like that. “

As for Mitchell’s physical gifts, the first thing Bullock points to is his speed.

“He has top-end speed,” the coach said. “He knows he has top-end speed and uses that to his ability. He doesn't worry too much about people beating him deep, so he's able to play multiple types of coverages.”

He’s also good in the classroom.

“He's one of those kids that if you didn't see him every day, you probably wouldn't know he was there because he's just not a big talker like that,” said Bullock. “He's kind. He's a great kid.”

And he certainly has the work ethic to reach his potential.

“You don't question whether he is going to be there every day,” his coach said. “He is always a guy who you can point to to your younger kids and be like, 'Hey, if you our four-star corner with 50 some odd offers can be here every day, why aren't you here? What makes you different?'

“That just gives the coaches on my staff and myself just some extra bullet points that we can hit and helps build the culture that we want. He's a catalyst of that.”

Mitchell is one of the Irish’s top targets at the position and the interest is mutual, according to Bullock.

“I think he's very high on Notre Dame,” the coach said. “I don't know who his top five or six are, but when we talk about Notre Dame, I know he is very high on Notre Dame. I know he is very high on Penn State.”

Bullock noted prospects want to go to a school where they feel wanted and the Irish were able to make Mitchell feel that way while in Jacksonville preparing for the Gator Bowl.

“You might have the kids that talk NIL deals and different things like that, but I think at the end of the day, most kids, just like most people, want to feel wanted,” said Bullock. “I think that's where Notre Dame's probably helping themselves.”

Bullock and Mitchell were among many to attend an Irish bowl practice in Florida in December.

“Marcus (Freeman) did a really nice job of coming over and he did a good job of talking to all the coaches, but he also knew that we have a guy that they wanted and expressing that to us as his coaches,” said Bullock.

Bullock believes Mitchell will do his best to get up to South Bend for a visit in the coming months.

Location won’t matter to Mitchell.

“Leaving the state is not an issue,” said Bullock, pointing to the fact that two of his brothers left Florida, including one who went all the way up to Massachusetts for college.

“His parents do an exceptional job. As a high school coach, you couldn't ask for better parents. They're involved, but they're not overly involved. They allow their boys to make their own decisions. They're there to help and give guidance when needed. The brothers have each other to throw things off of and go back and forth.

“I just think his home life is extremely strong led by his mother and his father. His mother is a very strong woman. His dad is there every day to pick him up and be there. They're wonderful to see. Being a dad myself, I hope that my wife and I deliver the same thing for our kids.”

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